Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, July 28, 2014


Hello! Well, it finally arrived! I remember when Colby wrote home for the last time: he said "I'll see you in 48 hours." I always wondered how it would feel to say the same thing, and now to live it fills me with so many different emotions. The other night Elder Kraft and I went and played basketball with some kids in the government complex next to our house, and when we got back to the house we laid out on the wall in our front yard and looked up at the stars. As I was looking up I shed a few tears thinking about how I'll soon be at home. What a whirlwind of emotions haha. I guess I'll finish here by sharing just some final thoughts: at the beginning of my mission when I tore my ab I wondered how easy it would have been to just go home and never serve a mission due to injury. I'm so grateful for the help of the Lord in being able to suffer through all pains and afflictions. Suffering doesn't make us saints, but it can be a tool for refinement if we faithfully endure. When my soul has hungered I have found that, like Enos, I have simply had to exert myself to God and seek His help to be strong and to be filled. I am more than convinced that He is aware of us and our prayers: I know with all certainty that He is a God of answers, and a loving Father. I know that He speaks to His children. The greatest blessing of my mission has been to know that He will use us and speak to us in order to grow and to be able to help others. I have learned to recognize His voice in my mission. He lives and all men can know that if they will humble themselves, set aside their personal beliefs of how He should be and how He should treat His children, and simply seek Him out. I love my God and Father, and I am so grateful for the power of the atonement of Christ. This is not the end of my mission: this is simply the beginning to an important journey full of opportunities to labor in the vineyards of the Lord. I've found that He puts me to the test of my words, but I've also found that He's merciful and His grace truly is sufficient. About Arelys's family: I might visit them tonight. The problem is that we don't have a car and they live way far out in our area and no member has been able to take us there. We'll see what happens. May God bless you all. I give you all my love and gratitude for your support and love. What an exciting time awaits us! With all my love, Elder Cevering

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Email July 21, 2014

Hello family! This week was a solid week with great things that happened! We had zone conference, I had my goodbye interview with President Boucher, and we did the Book of Mormon Excursion here in Vega Baja. I am really happy with how things are winding down. My interview with President was really great: he got straight into the goodbye haha. He said, "Elder are you excited to go home?" I wondered if it were a trick question but I was honest and said yes. He said, "Good. I think you should be excited to go home at the end of your mission. That's healthy." We talked about different plans and ideas that I have for what I'm going to do when I'm home and he shared with me that he thought I had my head on straight. We talked about my mission: he asked me to share the most important lesson I've learned, and when I told him that the most important lesson was that I'd learned that God requires a lot from His children he looked surprised. He said, "Thank you for sharing that new perspective with me." It was interesting. He's a really great man. I would have loved to have had him as my mission president for a longer time. And his wife is awesome: I sat and talked with her for about 45 minutes before I had my interview. She's actually Bishop Burton's daughter---crazy right? Friday night we did the Book of Mormon Excursion here. It was a HIT. I think the members here liked it more than the members in Bayamon. We had to make some changes to it since there are two sisters in our district (so one of them acted as Abish, and the other acted as a nephite woman who was present at Christ's descent in the land of Bountiful). It was really awesome. They want us to do it again soon. The members who didn't come are really jealous and are asking us to plan to do it next week. Ha. I thought to myself, "Do whatever you want, I'll be home!" The best thing about the week though was to see the people who came to church as a result of the Book of Mormon excursion. There's a woman here whose husband doesn't like her to go to church with their kids. He's a member but he doesn't live the majority of the commandments. However, they came as a whole family to the excursion, and then Sunday the woman showed up to church with her kids for the first time in a long time. She asked us to teach her son and daughter and to prepare them for baptism. It was awesome! I felt really touched and blessed. Really, my feelings have been of profound gratitude. I've had some sleepless nights as I've pondered about finishing my end. I've felt trunky this whole transfer and the transfers before for different circumstances, but now I'm stuck between the excitement of getting home and the sadness of leaving. I haven't broken down at all, but I've stayed up till 12:00 some nights and had tears come to my eyes as the thoughts continued coming to me that I'll be home soon. They're tears of gratitude and tears of sadness and tears of excitement all at the same time. I know those feelings will probably last for awhile so I guess I have to get accustomed to it haha. I love you all so much! As I look around the ward and as I ponder on the families I've met in my mission I see in my mind my friends and my family at home and I am reminded how blessed I am. My Father in heaven has been merciful and gracious to me in my life. One thing I'm continually learning is how He is always with us: we just have to learn to recognize His work. That'll be something incredible about being home: starting a new work with the Lord. I'm not perfect but I know that He's calling me. I know there are challenges, blessings, and joys awaiting me, and for that reason I can look at the end of my mission and say, "Alright, this isn't the end." I've been preparing myself for this time my whole mission and now that it's hear I'm just excited to see what's in store. Elder Cevering

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Email July 14, 2014

Hello family! This countdown is getting me pretty excited: I will be home to Utah in 16 days. I've been feeling so many different emotions. Over the past few days I've had moments where I've sat down and thought about going home and I'm really excited and happy. Then I have other moments where I'm pondering and the tears come to my eyes when leaving Puerto Rico pops in. It's been a humbling and gratifying experience. We went to a member's house last week to do some service, then we shared a message afterward. We talked about the character of Christ, specifically His willingness to suffer for righteousness. We'd shared the same message in another appointment during the week, and the member who accompanied us was also present at this second lesson. He shared that he'd been pondering all week about my words, and a feeling of humility entered into me. I didn't feel proud of myself that he'd been touched by my message: I felt grateful that the Lord would consider me utile in order to use me as His instrument. And that led me to feel so grateful for all He's let me do in my mission, which brought the tears to my eyes, and I remembered that my patriarchal blessing says: "As you finish your mission you will be so grateful for the special experiences you will have through the Spirit." I felt known and loved by God and felt love for the wonderful patriarch who was worthy to give me that blessing. I've also been put into three good-old Bible bashing situations this week. We didn't argue with any of them: we taught them pure doctrine as we believe it and were able to end on friendly terms with each of the people we talked with. One of them was a young kid who thought he'd have a fun time by inviting us over and bashing with us. I have to admit that though we didn't bash with him we did give him a good reason to be humble :) Another kid was here on a mission from Texas. He only spoke English, which was among the first lessons I've ever taught in English. He was a cool kid and was understanding of what we taught him. He was surprised by how similiar our doctrine really is to his-- I think he's a non-denominational missionary. It was really cool. The only big news I have from this week is from the night Elder Kraft and I went to Wendy's. We had ordered our food, then looked up at the newspapers back by the drinks, and we saw the front page: Lebron James in his Cleveland Cavaliers uniform with giant words that said: DEVUELTA A CASA, which means Returning Home. Lebron James is going back to the Cavaliers! We both freaked out since we're big NBA fans and asked the cashier for the newspaper. We sat their at the counter reading the front page. All the employees were laughing at us. It was funny. Haha. I'm stoked for this NBA season now--I'll be home to watch it :) The funny story of the week: we were driving with an investigator up to an appointment near the bishop's house, and as we passed we saw the bishop outside his house just chilling in his garments. Ha. Not the first time I've seen that. But then we stopped and the investigator started talking to the bishop. The bishop just stood there in his garments and talked to him. Oh Puerto Rico. Anyway, I love you all a lot! Time's going by fast :) Elder Cevering

Monday, July 7, 2014

Photos of the ocean, a lake, a hike, etc.

Email July 7, 2014

Hello family! I wish I could say I had a really exciting week but it was really slow...The highlight of the week was our ward activity: we went to a park and hiked to a sweet water lake. It was really cool. I'll be sending the pictures. Our investigators Lizmariz and Josue went on vacation with their family to the other side of the island. So we didn't get the chance to teach them, or almost anyone. It wasn't too discouraging: I'm really happy to live with the missionaries here because we can always make situations better. The other thing we did this week was meet President Boucher and his wife: they're super great people. They seem to be really solid and really devoted to this work. We had an hour of a spiritual discussion where we listened to President Boucher's vision for the mission. Apparently he heard--even before being called to be the mission president--that our mission is super disobedient so he wants to change that. I don't know how much I agree with that: I'd say the missionaries here have been doing the best with what they've had for years and now it's just reaching a point where they can't do anything anymore without help from the members. I'll be home in three weeks and I have so much to tell you about this mission :) I know the church can grow on this island. Sister Boucher is really nice. After we had our hour of talking about spiritual things we moved on to a social hour sort of thing. Sister Boucher talked with all of us: she wrote down things about us on a paper with a list of our pictures on it. It was cool. Well I love you! Elder Cevering